September Update from Ali
Hi Q300 Families,
First, I'm asking that all students and their families read and sign a class technology contract. There are two versions: one for grades K&1 and the other is for grades 2-4. You can find both on my class website but I'll also send home a hardcopy this week. After discussing it with your child, please return it to school. Your child will bring it to class during their scheduled technology time.
I'd also like to tell you about some of the things we'll be working on this year. All students will learn about Internet safety, digital citizenship and media literacy throughout the year. This includes (but is not limited to) how to be a good digital citizen, what kinds of information should be kept private, standing up to cyberbullying and understanding the importance of strong passwords.
Kindergartners and first grade students are primarily learning how to navigate MacBook Air laptops. They'll learn how to use a mouse, trackpad, keyboard and other input/output devices, use the Internet to go to teacher-selected sites, and begin their computer science journey using a block based programming language called MicroWorldsJR.
Students in grades 2-4 will continue using Scratch to create stories, games and animations but we are expanding our focus to other areas such as blogging, podcasting and video production. We will begin the year with blogging. I'm excited to teach students about the benefits of blogging, have them comment on our class blog and eventually create their own based on their hobbies and interests. When the time comes, I'll be sure to reach out and get consent. If you're uncomfortable with your child having a public blog, we can simply have a private section that is password protected but we'll chat about logistics once we get to that point. At this time, students are going to begin by making paper blogs while we learn the ins and outs of blogging.
I'm looking forward to sharing their work with you once we've made some headway!
More to come soon.